The Only Animal In the World That Needs A Rhino Horn,
Is a Rhino.
via Inside Story
The Rhinoceros, most commonly known as the Rhino, is a magnificent being that once roamed the world freely and in abundance. Today, they are once again on the brink of extinction due to poaching.
Two species of Rhino in Asia, the Javan and Sumatran Rhinos, are Critically Endangered. A subspecies of the Javan Rhino was declared extinct in Vietnam in 2011. Successful conservation efforts have helped the third Asian species, the Indian Rhino, to increase in number. Their status was changed from Endangered to Vulnerable, but the species is still poached for its infamous horn.
In Africa, Southern White Rhinos, once thought to be extinct, are now being protected in sanctuaries and are classified as Near Threatened. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the Northern White Rhino subspecies which is believed to be extinct in the wild and only a few captive individuals remain in a sanctuary in Kenya. Black Rhinos have doubled in number over the past two decades, but total numbers are still no way near the estimated 100,000 that existed in the early part of the 20th century.
What makes the Rhino so unique are their horns. Their horns are made primarily from Keratin which is a fibrous protein which is also found in human skin and fingernails. Doesn't sound that exciting does it? Well according to several cultures, and in particular Southeast Asia, this protein can cure a range of illnesses from Cancer to Alzheimer’s, although there is no scientific evidence to back up this up this backward way of thinking.
This growing believe is extremely damaging and as a result the Rhino is being poached in huge numbers and are now facing extinction. Not only are the Rhinos hunted and killed but they are being murdered in sadistic manners and having their horns hacked off while the Rhino is still alive and while it's family and young watch on. This is disturbing in so many ways but it is particularly upsetting when we know that these animals feel emotions such as fear, sadness and grieving - much the same as we do. Another disturbing factor is that people suffering from certain diseases are being misled and the hunters are profiting from this trade and are taking advantage of vulnerable people.
This illegal trade in Southeast Asia is now a multibillion dollar trade. People are buying hunting permits and are arriving in South African parks in huge numbers to hunt these creatures. Although it is legal to hunt and kill Rhinos with a permit, it is illegal to remove it’s horn and to profit from. But as you have seen from the above video, this isn't stopping people. Infact, as the demand increases, the more rare the Rhino horn becomes which then increases its value and in turn gives these poachers even more incentive. It is a vicious cycle.
We need to bring awareness to this trade and we need to educate people that Rhino horn’s will not cure illnesses. If the demand decreases, so will the need to sell Rhino horn's on the black market and a result poaching Rhinos for their horn's will no longer need to exist.
Please sign the petitions below and share far and wide so we can help bring awareness to this trade.
Let’s be the voice for these Rhinos and remember these wise words by Dr William Fowlds:-
"‘Make a commitment to do one thing every day for Rhinos, even if it is just a tweet or a post – if not a day then a week"